Welcome to Abu Dhabi! My Mum and I are here on a short last-minute break for some sunshine!
After a long flight yesterday, we arrived into Abu Dhabi late last night. After a room service supper we had an early night and set the alarm for 5am UK time. Or so we thought. At 3am UK time the alarm went off!! Apparently my Mum was unaware that when you turn your phone off, it updates its time to local time. Luckily we realised it pretty quickly so went back to sleep for another three hours.
We were up early to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
It is the largest mosque in the UAE, and the eighth largest mosque in the world. It can fit 40,000 people inside to worship!
It is the only mosque in the world where a ruler is buried within the grounds. Sheikh Zayed obviously wanted to be buried somewhere that he had funded!
There was quite a strict dress code inside. I thought I would pass it with trousers, a t shirt, cardigan and scarf. Apparently not! I was escorted into a dressing room to be fitted with a burka style outfit. It was so hot, it made me appreciate the women that have to wear full burkas and hijabs in the Arabian heat! It was not comfortable.
After the mosque we relaxed by the pool for a bit, before catching a taxi and boat to our next destination; The Desert Island Resort and Spa. Unfortunately, we didn’t realise that the taxi was a 2 and a half hour journey. And it was right around lunchtime, needless to say we had not prepared snacks. A quick stop at a petrol station to pick up some (unhealthy) snacks, and we were back on our way.
It was a long trip to the island, about 4 and a half hours in total, but it was worth it once we arrived. So beautiful.
There are lots of activities on offer here including nature walks, wildlife drives and horseriding. We have signed up to do an 18km bike ride tomorrow evening, a nature drive the following morning and a kayak trip that afternoon. We are definitely keeping ourselves busy!